Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:45 pm
In a small border town in northern Syria, there are two groups that both oppose President Bashar Assad's regime. But instead of working in tandem, the Syrian rebels and a Kurdish militia have been battling each other in the town of Ras al-Ayn.
Sally Ali, a 26-year-old resident of Ras al-Ayn, told NPR by phone that the streets are completely empty. "It's a ghost town," she says.
She estimates about half of the town's residents fled to nearby villages; the other half are trapped in their homes by the ongoing violence.
When presented with a tempting buffet of French food, not overeating can be a challenge. But a new study by researchers in Lyon suggests there are strategies that will help people resist temptation.
People trying to keep off excess weight are frequently told that it's better to eat small amounts of food frequently during the day, rather than the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. The idea is that more frequent eating will stave off hunger pangs that may lead to overeating.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:43 am
Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
From 'Morning Edition': The news on women in combat
Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Saying that American men and women are "fighting and dying together and the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Pentagon's rule banning women from combat positions is being rescinded.
Panetta said that as the Pentagon works through how to implement the change, the goal will be to "eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service."
Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne with a new invention for the lonely diner - a ramen bowl with a built-in iPhone dock. Eating the popular noodle dish normally requires two hands - one for chopsticks, the other for a spoon. Designers at a Taiwanese company noticed a guy trying to do that while juggling his cell phone. So they came up with a way to slurp it up while watching videos or reading emails hands free.
One flaw - no splash guard for the brothy dish. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers had a terrible NFC championship game. Sure, he ran for two touchdowns. And yes, his team came back to win and made it to the Super Bowl. But pro football officials noticed his socks were sagging. It was his second dress code violation of the season and they fined him $10,500. Imagine what your bank account would like if your mom could do that to you.
You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
On a momentous Thursday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
We're expecting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to make an announcement today. From now on, women will formally be allowed to serve in ground combat.
INSKEEP: To sense just how dramatic this change is, consider how many other milestones the military passed before reaching this one. The move for women comes 65 years after the Armed Forces ended racial segregation.
OK. Let's turn to a rivalry between siblings. Today's Last Word In Business is Harbowl - or Harbaugh Bowl. An Indiana man tried to trademark those two phrases last year, according to ESPN.com.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Roy Fox figured the Harbaugh brothers - both NFL coaches - might someday meet in the Super Bowl. This year, it is happening. Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers face John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens, a week from Sunday.
MONTAGNE: But the gray wolf is the ancestor of all domesticated dogs, including that Jack Russell terrier we just heard. Just how wolves came to live with people isn't really known. But as NPR's Veronique LaCapra reports, a new study suggests that food may have played a role.
VERONIQUE LACAPRA, BYLINE: Most dogs will eat just about anything.
There's still more to learn about the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.
Studies in this week's New England Journal of Medicine show that the risk for women has been under-appreciated for decades. New data also quantify the surprising payoffs of smoking cessation — especially under the age of 40.
A week has passed since the terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria, but risk analysts and security experts are still undecided about the incident's likely impact in the energy world.
The price of oil, a good indicator of anxiety in the energy market, went up modestly right after the attack, but then it stabilized. No energy company has suspended operations in Algeria, nor has any company announced it will hold off on future investments in North Africa, a key source of oil and gas supplies.
English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.
It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.
At 72, the prince of R&B has reverted to childhood. Aaron Neville has a new album called My True Story, and it's a collection of the songs he sang growing up in the projects of New Orleans in the 1950s and '60s, back when doo-wop was king.
"I've been into every doo-wop there is," Neville says. "I think I went to the university of doo-wop-ology."
The White House said today that it would move forward with the nomination of Gen. John Allen to become NATO commander.
Allen's nomination was put on hold after he became ensnared in the extramarital affair scandal that led to the resignation of CIA Chief David Petraeus. As we reported, the Pentagon's Inspector General exonerated Allen of any wrong doing yesterday.
NPR's Tom Bowman filed this report for our Newscast unit:
And now for some reaction to that decision, we turn to Anne Coughlin. She's a professor at the University of Virginia Law School, and her research inspired a lawsuit brought by two women in the Army Reserve seeking to reverse that ban. The suit argues the ban is unconstitutional. Anne Coughlin, welcome to the program.
ANNE COUGHLIN: Thank you so much, Melissa. I'm happy to be here.
BLOCK: And first, your thoughts when you heard this decision from Secretary Panetta today.
One week after Federal Aviation Administration officials grounded Boeing's newest jet, the world's entire 787 Dreamliner fleet remains parked. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Tuesday he couldn't speculate on when a review of the plane would be complete.
Investigators in the U.S. and Japan remain perplexed as to why batteries on two planes suffered serious failures. Now Boeing, its flagship jet and the certification process for the 787 are under intense scrutiny.
If you were dreaming of flying soon in a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you have to wake up: Federal Aviation Administration isn't rushing its review of the grounded aircraft.
"We need to get to the bottom of the recent issues with the batteries in the 787 and ensure their safety before these aircraft can be put back in service," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today at an Aero Club luncheon in Washington.
Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 4:24 pm
Firefighters in Chicago responded to the largest fire in years last night. According to The Chicago Tribune, at one point a third of the city's firefighters were battling the blaze at a vacant warehouse.
Luckily no one was hurt, but the arctic temperatures the area is experiencing meant the firefighters faced issues like frozen hydrants.
The pictures of the action, however, are made simply stunning because of the ice.
When compared with its neighbors Coney Island and the Rockaways, Manhattan seemed hardly touched by the waters and winds of Superstorm Sandy in late October. But almost three months later, areas of lower Manhattan are still laboring to recover.
Earlier this month, a museum devastated by Sandy finally reopened. About 800 people packed the lobby and upstairs galleries of the South Street Seaport Museum in lower Manhattan as Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the crowd.
Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:42 am
Rarely do we consider the trucks, trains and tankers that transport our food around our cities — and around the world. It's not until an accident happens, and the food inside these vessels comes pouring out, that we remember all this food in motion around us, and how damaging it can be when it spills.
The truth is, a lot of food is extremely sticky, bulky — and sometimes, flammable. And apparently, the people who move it around are just as accident prone as the rest of us.
Controversial experiments on bird flu could resume within weeks because leading influenza researchers around the world have finally called a halt to an unusual moratorium that has lasted more than a year.
The voluntary pause in the research started back in January 2012. Scientists had genetically altered the bird flu virus H5N1, changing it in ways that allowed it to spread through the coughs and sneezes of ferrets — the lab stand-in for people.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to lift a ban that prohibited women from serving in combat, a congressional source tells NPR's Tom Bowman. The move opens up thousands of front-line positions.
Panetta is expected to announce the decision along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday.